After the last women’s hockey game played at Greenberg Ice Pavilion came to a close, coach Josh Brandwene said he could not have spent his last game in the building with a finer group of people.
Brandwene, who played in the arena on the men’s club team from 1987-1991, recalled some of the memories he accumulated in the past years since his arrival at Greenberg.
“I’ve got a ton of great memories from this building,” Brandwene said. “You know, as a player. I got in engaged at center ice in this building. I came back to coach here against Penn State and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be here with this program.”
The final matchup before Penn State moves to Pegula Ice Arena started much like the one before it, in which Penn State fell, 3-1, to Lindenwood on Friday. The Nittany Lions (7-20-2, 1-13-2 CHA) and Lindenwood (4-24-3, 4-9-3) battled back and forth during the second game of the weekend series, which resulted in a 3-3 draw.
The Lions jumped out to an early lead on Saturday, but Lindenwood countered. Forward Shannon Yoxheimer notched her 13th goal of the season when she went top shelf on Lindenwood goalie Nicole Hensley.
The lead lasted just more than three minutes because Lindenwood forward Alison Wickenheiser received a cross-crease pass from fellow forward Allysson Arcibal and Wickenheiser put it in the back of goalie Nicole Paniccia’s net for the tie.
Both teams also scored goals in the second period. The Lions wasted little time in the frame when forward Birdie Shaw scored her second goal of the season, but Lindenwood answered late in the period with a goal by forward Lyndsay Kirkham.
Midway through the second frame, the Lions killed off four straight penalties before Kirkham scored. Brandwene said after the game that he was proud with the penalty killing unit and noted how far it has come since the beginning of the season.
Following suit with the first two periods, Penn State scored early. Just five minutes in, forward Jill Holdcroft nailed home a rebound off of a Jordin Pardoski shot taken near the blue line. Lindenwood waited until only 42 seconds remained in the game to tie it when Arcibal also put a rebounded shot in the back of the net.
Paniccia said she thought Penn State played better than Friday’s game and the Lions will build off of it, but she also noted how tough it was to have the win slip away late.
“It sucks,” Paniccia said. “It’s not fun, but...I’m really proud of my team.”
The goal came with some controversy as Brandwene attempted to call a timeout before the faceoff that lead to Arcibal’s goal, but he was denied the stoppage in play.
Brandwene said he did not know why he was rejected the timeout.
“Anybody ever seen that before?” he asked in his press conference following the tie. “I’m still a little bit confused myself...all I know is we battled hard.”
Brandwene and the Lions will close out the regular season with two consecutive away series. Penn State travels to RIT next weekend to take on the Tigers for a two-game set. In the series played at Greenberg in October, the Tigers took game one, but the two teams battled to a tie the next night.
Brandwene said he likes the place his team is in, especially relative to Friday’s game with Lindenwood.
“The thing that I’m most proud of this team for is their resiliency,” Brandwene said. “No matter what they get handed, no matter what the scenario, they get right back up. They make it their business to improve.”